The ONLY Way To Stop Procrastinating | Mel Robbins - Deepstash
The ONLY Way To Stop Procrastinating | Mel Robbins

The ONLY Way To Stop Procrastinating | Mel Robbins

Curated from: Mel Robbins

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MEL ROBBINS

You're not a procrastinator. You have a habit of procrastinating. Big difference.

MEL ROBBINS

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Misconception about procrastination

Misconception about procrastination

One might think that procrastination is about the thing or task which one is procrastinating around, mostly at work. Mel Robbins postulates that, in fact, procrastination has nothing to do with work.

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The root cause of procrastination: Stress

The root cause of procrastination: Stress

Apart from work, we tend to have a lot of things going in our lives, like fights with our significant others, ill family members, financial concerns and so on. Whatever problems we have, we carry them with us all the time, no matter where we are or what we do. Now, imagine going to work with this big stress ball subconsciously hanging over your head, knowing you have many tasks ahead of you, easy ones as well as those that make you uncomfortable like phone calls with some higher ups. For a while you keep yourself busy with easy work, but sooner or later you need to make those calls.

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Procrastination is a form of (instant) stress relief

Procrastination is a form of (instant) stress relief

That is the moment your brain kicks in like "Wait a minute, you want me to make a call to somebody whom I'm afraid of? Absolutely not! Let's just watch some cat videos for a minute, will we?" And next thing you know, one hour has passed. The moment you realize it, you tend to beat yourself up, only making things worse by adding even more stress.

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Breaking out of the procrastination cycle: Understanding the structure of habits

Breaking out of the procrastination cycle: Understanding the structure of habits

The good news: This behavior is learned, meaning it is a habit and not a bad personality trait. Habits can be broken with a science based approach.

To break this habit of procrastinating (e. g. seeking short dopamine kicks to avoid negative emotions), one first needs to know the structure of habits, which consist of three elements: 

  1. Trigger: In case of procrastination the trigger is always stress, according to Mel Robbins.
  2. Repeated behavioral pattern (e. g. habit): Here, it is the procrastination itself, meaning avoiding something.
  3. Reward: The reward of procrastination is a little stress relief.

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Breaking out of the procrastination cycle: Three-steps-plan to beat procrastination

Breaking out of the procrastination cycle: Three-steps-plan to beat procrastination

To break a bad habit, you must change at least one of the three components. In case of procrastination, this can only be the behavior pattern itself, as the trigger – stress – will always be present. So, the next time you catch yourself checking your phone or busying yourself with insignificant tasks instead of doing what matters, do the following steps: Acknowledge the stress, redirect your attention and interrupt the procrastination habit.

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1. Acknowledge the stress

1. Acknowledge the stress

Stop what you are doing and say to yourself "Oh, I must be stressed about something." Recognizing your emotional state is the initial step towards altering your behavior.

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2. Redirect your attention

2. Redirect your attention

Now, count 5-4-3-2-1 to wake up your prefrontal cortex (e. g. breaking the autopilot). A habit is something we do in autopilot mode, letting our subconsciousness lead the way. Counting backwards reactivates our conscious mind and interrupts the pattern.

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3. Interrupt the procrastination habit

3. Interrupt the procrastination habit

Focus on one task and work on it for just five minutes. The reason why you should work for only five minutes is to remind yourself that work is not the problem but the habit of avoiding. You just need to start to disrupt the avoidance pattern. 

Another positive effect: Based on research, 80 % of people who manage to start working for only five minutes are going to continue their work.

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IDEAS CURATED BY

bellaversum

Renaissance learner, interested in subjects like psychology, arts & design, productivity, creativity, health, fitness, finances and meditation.

CURATOR'S NOTE

This short video delves into the idea that procrastination is more of a behavior pattern than a inherent aspect of a person's character, indicating that it can be addressed using a method rooted in scientific understanding.

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